CHICAGO (Dec. 5, 2023) – Chicago Fire FC today announced that it has hired Frank Klopas as head coach. Klopas, a member of the Club’s Ring of Fire and the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame, has been involved with the Chicago Fire and Major League Soccer in a variety of roles since 1998.
“We conducted a thorough process with numerous well-qualified candidates, and we believe that Frank Klopas is the right person to lead the team,” said Chicago Fire FC Sporting Director Georg Heitz. “Frank is hard working, has strong relationships with our players and staff, and knows what it takes to be successful in this League. During the interview process Frank laid out a clear plan to create a winning culture and mentality within the Club, and we are all aligned on the areas that we need to strengthen to be much more competitive in 2024. We will work closely with Frank to improve the roster and finalize his coaching staff for the upcoming season.”
The announcement marks Klopas’ second stint as the full-time head coach of the Club. Klopas has also served as an interim head coach on three occasions, including the 2023 season when he led the team for the remaining 24 matches of the campaign. Overall, Klopas has compiled a 49-43-29 regular season record as head coach of the Fire and currently holds the third-highest winning percentage in Club history.
After leading the team to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final in 2011, Klopas recorded his highest win total with the Club in 2012, producing a 17-11-6 record as he guided the team to the MLS Cup Playoffs. His 17-win season in 2012 is ranked tied for the third-most regular season victories in a single season in Club history.
“I’ve never made it a secret how much I care for this wonderful Club and city. Chicago is my home, and I would do anything to bring success to the Fire,” said Klopas. “At this time, I believe that stepping back onto the sidelines is where I can best help this Club achieve its goals. I’m excited to build a strong culture and a winning mentality within the team, where everyone is committed to a standard of excellence and hard work. I am very grateful to Joe Mansueto and our technical staff for their trust. I would also like to thank our fans for their unwavering support, and I look forward to experiencing many positive moments together at Soldier Field next season.”
As a player, Klopas made more than 300 professional appearances for clubs in the United States and Greece, including 49 appearances for the Fire from 1998-99, and scored 81 goals during his club career. On the international stage, he scored 12 goals in 39 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team from 1987-1995, representing the USMNT in the 1988 Summer Olympics, 1994 FIFA World Cup and the 1995 Copa America.
A Chicago soccer icon, Klopas originally joined the Fire ahead of the team’s MLS expansion season in 1998. While playing for his hometown team, Klopas helped lead the Club to one of the most successful inaugural seasons in MLS history, as the Fire became the first team to win MLS Cup in its expansion campaign. Additionally, Klopas scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 extra time win over the Columbus Crew in the 1998 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final to lead Fire to the “Double” after winning MLS Cup and the U.S Open Cup in the same season.
After concluding his playing career in 1999, Klopas served as the Fire’s assistant coach in 2000 and technical director from 2008-2011, before becoming the sixth full-time head coach in Club history on Nov. 3, 2011. In two full seasons at the helm, Klopas tallied a 31-24-13 regular season record with the Fire, before joining CF Montréal as the team’s head coach in December 2013.
During his time with Montréal, Klopas led the club to a Canadian Championship title (2014) and the final of the Concacaf Champions League (2014-15). In 2016, Klopas rejoined the Fire to become the Club’s broadcast color analyst from 2016-19, before returning to the coaching ranks as an assistant coach in 2020.
Klopas currently holds a U.S. Soccer Pro License and is fluent in English and Greek.